Thirty professionals from Timor-Leste and Indonesia and ten from the United States participated in a Legislative Process and Governance Professional Fellows Program implemented by ICMA in 2013-2015. Fellows learned practical skills relating to the role and responsibility of of local governments in civic engagement, promoting transparency while also fostering interaction with leaders from federal, state, and local organizations.
The goal of the program, funded by the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, was to create a global network of emerging local government leaders to positively impact legislative processes and governance practices in their organizations and in their communities, by enriching their leadership skills and cultural understanding and by providing opportunities for knowledge exchange and ongoing collaboration.
The 30 Asian/Pacific Fellows, divided into two cohorts, spent four and a half weeks in the United States in May and October 2014. They came first to Washington, D.C., for an orientation, then traveled to host communities for three weeks, and then returned to Washington for a Professional Fellows Congress. U.S. Fellows, drawn from those who hosted the international participants, then traveled to their counterpart’s organization for two-week fellowships in August 2014 and February 2015.
ICMA partnered with Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA), and the Association of Indonesian Municipalities (APEKSI) to select the Asian/Pacific participants and identify host country communities. APEKSI and LGMA are ICMA International Affiliate organizations.
The exchange was a part of the Professional Fellows Program sponsored by the Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Professional Fellows Program brings several hundred emerging leaders from around the world to the United States each year for intensive fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise.